CHLP joins HIV Law Project and WORLD/Positive Women's Network in Comments on HHS Regulations for Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program

One piece of the Patient Projection and Affordable Care Act, or Health Care Reform, implementation involves creation of Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plans to offer options to those, such as people diagnosed with HIV but without access to employer-provided health insurance, who typically can't get affordable heatlh care coverage.  As comments to the Department of Health and Human Services' Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services point out, the signficance of this option will be seriously diluted if premium costs, coverage of reproductive health services, overly long waiting periods, and other problems aren't addressed.

On September 29, 2010, CHLP joined primary drafters HIV Law Project and WORLD/PWN in comments to the Department of Health and Human Services' Center for Medicare and Medicad Services on a proposed rule to define the terms of a new Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan Program that is a key element of the Obama administration's health care reform law.  While many people currently excluded from private insurance will be able to secure coverage through these plans, there are several aspects of the program rules which threaten to make the plans inaccessible or inadquate for many people living with HIV, particularly women.  In written comments also endorsed by AIDS Alabama, CHAMP and the Women's HIV Collaborative of New York., advocates identified several provisions in need of change:  prohibitively high premium costs, restrictions on coverage of abortion and other reproductive health services, a mandatory six-month waiting period, the exclusion of HIV as a "presumed eligible" condition for plan eligibility, and an inadequate process for appealing denials of coverage. You can read the comments here.